There is no question that basketball is the most popular sport on campus. Holy Cross is in the Patriot League, the champion of which is guaranteed a place in the NCAA tournament. Although Holy Cross hasn’t won the tournament since 1948, the school is now focusing on strengthening both its men’s and women’s programs. Football is also popular, but it’s mostly about the tailgating. Although Holy Cross hasn’t fielded a competitive team in about 30 years, alumni flock to football games and tend to stick around for the first half—while there is still a chance of a Crusader victory—and leave once defeat is imminent.
Club and intramural sports at Holy Cross are somewhat spotty, and generally operate on student interest. The men’s rugby team, a stalwart club sport, was disbanded in fall 2003 for a period of five years. Other club teams vary in activity—although most dormant teams can easily be re-started by a few enterprising students. Many of the club sports, which are run out of the Student Programs office and not affiliated with the Athletic Department, also function as intramural leagues. Unofficial, though popular, intramural organizations include basketball and softball leagues, which generally spring up every so often. Enterprising groups of students often play touch football on the Hart lawn, too.